Wildschut future up in the air

Yanic Wildschut
Yanic Wildschut

YANIC Wildschut’s future is ‘a question for him’ as the on-loan Middlesbrough man nears the end of his loan at Wigan Athletic.

The flying Dutchman is due to return to his parent club after the trip to Scunthorpe on January 2 meaning, as things stand, he has only three matches left as a Latics player.

Latics remain keen to retain the player’s services, either by extending his loan to the end of the campaign or even buying him outright.

Wildschut’s contract at Middlesbrough expires at the end of the season, but the Teesside club are believed to hold an option for another 12 months in their favour.

With a number of other clubs reportedly also watching the situation, Latics boss Gary Caldwell reckons Wildschut himself holds the key to his next destination.

“There’s no updates as such,” Caldwell said. “He’s still a player we believe has a big future in the game, and we hope it is here at Wigan.

“But there’s no more information about his future here.”

When asked whether he was concerned speculation over his future would affect Wildschut in the coming days, Caldwell added: “You’d have to ask Yanic about whether it might affect him.

“As far as we’re concerned, there’s no uncertainty in the situation.

“We’ve given him a home where he’s flourished, and he’s shown the great attributes he has as a football player.

“We’ve allowed him to do that on a weekly basis, and we’ve said that we want to keep him here.

“It’s basically a question for him at this moment in time.”

The 24-year-old has scored four times in his 15 appearances for Latics, the latest being the clinching second goal at Barnsley at the weekend.

Wildschut was employed as an impact substitute at Oakwell, and Caldwell insists Latics are by no means reliant on the former Ajax junior.

“We’re certainly not a one-man team,” he added. “But I think at times we maybe became a little bit predictable with Yanic in the team.

“On Saturday we showed again we can attack from many areas, and to have a player of his quality to come off the bench is amazing for any manager to have.

“When a game is stretched it helps him, and he has the pace to really hurt teams.”

Caldwell’s men will train on Christmas Day ahead of the Boxing Day visit of Sheffield United, and he doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for them.

“There are people in the army, people working on rigs, away from home – I’ve got some friends who do that,” he acknowledged.

“So having to come in on Christmas Day, work for an hour and play on Boxing Day... there are worse things you could be doing.

“I used to look forward to it, because you knew the crowds would be bigger and it’s important in the time of the year.”